Married couples will only have sex on special occasions, turning to robots to satisfy their day-to-day needs, experts have predicted.
Speaking at an international robotics conference, those working in the field predicted that the use of artificial intelligence (AI) devices in the bedroom will be the norm within 25 years.
Dr Trudy Barber, an expert in the relationship between technology and sexual intercourse, compared the rise of sex robots to that of the e-book and said the machine would would allow people to appreciate ‘the real thing’ more.
At the International Congress of Love and Sex with Robotics, Dr Barber yesterday said that society’s readiness to embrace technology means it was only a matter of time before it also plays a significant role in people’s sex lives.
She said: ‘It could be that we are so busy with our lives, we are so embedded in our technological narrative that the idea of engaging in long-distance sex and robot sex is actually a natural process in our evolutionary cycle.
‘I think what will happen is that they will make real-time relationships more valuable and exciting.’
Predicting that robots would become an ‘extra human race’ she added: ‘The question is not ‘when will it become acceptable’ but ‘when will we integrate
‘We are able to have so many colours on our sexual pallet now; I think we’d be daft not explore them.’
There are currently several models on the market including Rocky or Roxxxy True Companion, which are on the market for about £7,000, but it is believed that advances in technology will make sex robots increasingly lifelike and affordable.
It is also predicted that advances in technology will mean the robots will be able to read human emotions.
Devices such as the Pepper robot, which was created two years ago, can already respond to certain emotions by analysing voice tones and expressions.
The humanoids are used in Asian countries, particularly in Japan to provide company for elderly people.
WILL SEXBOTS STOP CRIME?
Many people can see a variety of benefits that sexbots have to offer.
Behaviour therapist Nicolas Aujula sees them as a mechanism for helping fetishists explore extreme sexual fantasies, which could help fight sex crime.
Mr Aujula said: ‘Over the next few years, sex bots I believe could commonly provide a safe and discreet solution for exploring fantasies – offering the possibilities of simply having more creative sex, through to satisfying extreme fetish behaviour.
Scientists also believe the robots are being used by parents to provide stimulation for children.
Kate Devlin, computing expert at Goldsmiths, University of London, predicted sex robots would be developed to respond to their human partner’s sexual preferences and improve their performance accordingly.
However, AI experts have warned that increasing acceptance of humanoid devices will have a negative impact on young people’s sex lives.
They fear adolescents risk ‘losing their virginity’ to robots, and will grow up with unrealistic ideas about sex.
Leading scientist Dr Noel Sharkey, a former advisor to the UN, last summer urged governments to prevent robotics being hijacked by the sex industry.
Yesterday he said: ‘Sex robots will be used within the next decade but it is doubtful if they will become a societal norm although surveys show that around 10 per cent would be prepared to use them…
‘Prostitution has been around for thousands of years and yet has never been socially normalised.
‘The problem is the same for both.
‘With sex robots and prostitution, you are having a one way relationship with an object or a person that does not return your love except by pretence.’